At first sell in, then sell out.
B2B incentive programs are the best way for stimulating and taking care of the trade channels. In fact, the final consumer is not the only one field, which has to be well maintained by the brand. In recent years significant changes can be noticed in terms of convergence between B2B and B2C loyalty management.
For many enterprises, retaining not only consumers but also business partners has become the strategic objective. That is why incentive programs are not only focused on typical consumers but also on B2B: nowadays loyalty goals are also addressed to distributors and retailers.
The main reasons why incentive B2B is important.
Why is an incentive program a basis of many B2B strategies nowadays? There are 2 main reasons and they concern to levels of human soul: recognition and competition.
1. The need for recognition
Let’s go back to the school years: do you remember this feeling while taking a good grade? The feeling at that moment is recognition: your skills and engagement are recognized by the teacher and you have this sense of importance, satisfaction and fulfilment.
This feeling is also the part of B2B incentive programs – you are rewarding these channel partners, who stand out and it means, recognizing them as a strategic part of the business. And on the other hand, we are rewarding those, who allow your business to obtain more loyalty in return.
2. We like to be competitive
Human beings tend to love to get involved, especially when the challenge leads to a reward. Healthy competition pushes you, to show yourself and the others with whom you are able to win. In fact, creating incentive plans stimulates the trade channel to achieve both, the sell-in and sell-out objectives in order to have an attractive reward in return.
What B2B incentive programs should you create?
Talking about profits is tempting but at first, we have to think about what type of B2B incentive programs we can offer. We talk about vacation packages, travels, prepaid cards for some particular benefits. But nowadays, the most attractive solution can be offering “prizes” that boost the business value of the single channel partner and in the consequence, also to your brand.
Let me clarify this, if B2B incentive programs are focused on partners such as parapharmacies, opticians or in general, highly specialised stores, maybe it is worth to offer packages in geomarketing mode. For example social advertising on the individual retail page, which promotes a particular product or the whole brand, local radio advertising or even DEM activities in the point of sales.
Communication packages can also contain dedicated field activities: from in-store promotion to the hostesses in store, from brand specialist to sector experts to introduce thoroughly all the product features to the end consumer. The main benefits of the packages are sales acceleration and a clear return of the investment in the point of sales.
Another example of the reward can be an e-learning program, where the operations are focused on the product and brand training thanks to gamification activities and dedicated reward programs. The return of the investment, in that case, is clear for the trade and the brand: free and updated training provides all the expertise to the sector, which increases the business.
What are the benefits for the Brand
The benefits of B2B incentive programs are pretty clear. But to sum up, the most important advantages are:
- Creating strong relationships with your channel partners
- Transmitting a positive image of your brand on the market
- Maintaining a continuous involvement of the whole retail channel according to the brand’s objectives.
Those three aspects are the outcome of understanding the importance of relationship management with your business partner. Remember that before sell out there is always sell in.
English version by Patrycja Okowicka
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